I have no idea how to open this other than “I watched some Thomas the Tank Engine on YouTube before a podcast and decided I was going to talk about that whether Joe and Jeddy wanted to or not”. I put some of the apps I found in the app store onto my phone and started playing them so I could make it part of the topic for the podcast. After the podcast, I realized I could get an article out of this nonsense.
So, uh…here we are!
Thomas & Friends: Go Go Thomas
The story here is that the engines have new speed boosters, and you can win pieces of a trophy by racing other engines. You have to go and actually buy the other engines, so I just stuck with good ol’ Thomas. You keep racing as one engine until you get all the pieces of one trophy, which in my case took five races. All you do is tap on the green square in the bottom as fast as you can until a red button appears, then you tap on that. And then you do the same thing over and over until you get your precious trophy.
Thomas & Friends Minis
This is basically just a cute little virtual train set. It does have some “you have to pay if you want to play with this set” type deals, but it gives you some free blueprints and objects. It even lets you go off and build your own little playset. One more feature is that it lets you pull up the camera on your device and make it look like the track is in the Real World™ if you have it over a flat surface.
Thomas & Friends: Express Delivery
It’s Sir Topham Hatt’s birthday, so of course he needs things for the party. Like people…and fireworks…and balloons. This time, there are a total of three characters that come free. The other four are pay-to-play. In this game, all you have to do is go around the Island of Sodor and collect some things for the party. On the way, you can build four or five different buildings or farms for the island…for some reason. You can choose between the free ones or the paid ones. They don’t really matter, since there’s no change in the gameplay based on who you choose.
Thomas & Friends: Race On!
Oh, boy, another racing game! Instead of just tapping at your screen madly for a few seconds, you also get to drag things across and tap on stuff. It’s even got more than one track! Not like I saw more than one, but they exist! Honestly, there’s not much more I can say on this one. Other than the visuals, which are a lot better and have more things than Go Go Thomas, there isn’t much difference between the two.
Thomas & Friends: Magic Tracks
Much like Thomas & Friends Minis, this is a virtual playset. It’s a lot less fun, though, since most of what I wanted to play with was only unlockable through the power of my debit card. The playset has you driving around in a third person view, basically hovering over Thomas and directing him wherever. It would take you towards places that either needed to be bought, or towards beacons holding little areas to add to your playset. Theses objects were typically buildings and trees that were there for decoration.
Thomas & Friends Talk to You
This was what I was really looking forward to in all of this. I wanted to talk to Thomas so bad for some reason. The app gives you stories to choose from, and of course only one is free. It plays out like “Hey, here’s a prompt. Now press the icon on the screen and respond!” type of thing. The free story lasts about ten minutes, and gives you just over ten opportunities to talk to Thomas and his buds. I wouldn’t call it fun, but it wasn’t too boring.
Top of the Heap:
Thomas & Friends Minis
I know I’m not the target audience for these games, but this game kept my attention longer than any of the other ones did. It’s a cute game that gives you enough to do for free, while still having parts that need to be purchased. The problem with the other games was that the paid stuff made up a lot of the game, making the free stuff get old fast. I just really like the customization this one offered.